Do You Love Me?

“Do you love me?” used to be one of my favorite questions to ask…daily.  Well, maybe not daily, but often…too often.  In my prior relationships, I had grown accustomed to hearing “I love you” every day, multiple times a day to the point I thought it was mandatory in relationships.  I was wrong.
In my earlier relationships, I was young therefore my relationships had limitations.  Prior to going to college, all dating was under the supervision of my parents.  And well, they made sure I had everything I needed therefore I never to had to depend on a man to meet my basic needs.   Even early in college, I had a wonderful boyfriend that frequently sacrificed on my behalf, but still my parents were my primary providers and as such my parents made sure I had everything I needed.  Even the visiting in these relationships was limited to house and dorm curfews.  So maybe the constant verbal confirmation of love may have been more warranted because of the parameters of youthful relationships.
When I entered a relationship, as a semi self-sufficient adult, I was perplexed as to why this man rarely said he loved me.  I don’t want to exaggerate it because my memory may be foggy.  I’m sure he told me loved me once a week or so, but it wasn’t the constant after every phone conversation, all day, every day affirmations.  Well, for one, we were usually together, so honestly there wasn’t much need for phone conversations.  However, in his presence, the roles were very clear.  He was the man and I was the lady, and as such, my daily needs were met by him.  And I am not just talking about financially, but my overall well-being was important to him and therefore he responded accordingly.  Things are so much easier to see in retrospect.  Sadly, at the time, his lack of verbal confirmation made me constantly question the ifs and whys of his love.
Strangely, enough my parents rarely say they love me too.  They rarely say we are proud of you because they expect greatness without excuse.  But they have and continue to make countless sacrifices on my behalf…and my prolonged educational endeavors.  And when I visit them at their work, all of their co-workers say how much they talk about me and how proud they are of me.  The co-workers ask me about my latest occurrences or projects as my parents have usually raved about me to them.  I would say that makes me feel even more special from hearing it from my parents themselves.  While I can think of an infinite amount of sacrifices made, there was this one day when my world crashed.  I was in D.C. and they were in Dallas.  I made one phone call full of tears, and they were in D.C within 12 hours.  You see, my parents don’t have to tell me they love me because I have absolutely no doubt that they do.  Their love is fully ingrained into my mind, my heart, and my spirit.  Their love is who I am.
I decided to take this same thought process in my, now adult, relationships.  I deafen my ears to words to heighten my vision to be truly receptive to the feeling of being loved.   No longer, do I need the constant verbal confirmation of what I already know.  I completely understand that love is an action verb and not a verb of being.  The “I love you” is in what they do.

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